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Bligh's Barleywine Ale - Dry Dock Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bligh's Barleywine AleBligh's Barleywine Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

118 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 118
Hads: 505
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 7.85%
Wants: 554
Gots: 142 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Dry Dock Brewing Co. visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: waltonc on 10-08-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 118 | Hads: 505
Photo of cbutova
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from CO last summer, 2013 bottle. Was extremely pumped to find this bottle as a huge fan of the style.

A- Very dark mahogany pour out of the 22oz into a few snifters. The crown is off white, foamy and rises to just a sheet dying out to a small ring. Rare spotty lacing.

S- For the ABV it is very relaxed and smoothed out in the aroma. Toffee, caramel, coconut flakes, spiced raisin, vanilla bean oak, fudge, relaxed whiskey and a touch of roast darkness.

T- In the league of Arctic Devil of BA Barleywine smoothness. Delivers a lot of complex flavors without overpowering the palate in any way. Balance balance balance... of wet toasted oak, deep caramelized sugars, brown sugar, raisin, vanilla sweets from the barrel, whiskey, nuts, cherry, sweets and slight roast.

MF- Oily and super slick body which hits the palate with a thick overall consistency. Low to medium level of bubbles. Ends somewhat warm.

One of the smoothest BA Barleywines I can think of; almost absurdly so but in a good way. Balanced interplay between the rich base malts and the whiskey barrel that provides a lot of vanilla and aged oak character. (1,138 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage bomber
I've heard some hype around this one, and damn, message received. Pour leaves almost no head to speak of. Aroma is outstanding. Oak, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, and a huge dose of toffee. Flavor is for real too. Everything the nose presented, but with a generous helping of brown sugar and a hint of sherry. Just as a warning, it is cloying. Normally, I struggle to get through such overwhelming sweetness, but this one holds up well. Body is slick, drinks smooth, with very low carbonation. Not HoD low, but close.
Overall, top 5 BA barleywine for me. (581 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bomber into a snifter.

Not much head on this but it has the thick caramelly-look. Dark amber body almost. 4.25

Sweet sticky caramel, soy sauce and tobacco. Faint floral hop aroma. Brown sugar. 4.25

Very consistent with the nose. Caramel drips from this as does brown sugar. Tastes oaken and tobacco-like with a touch of port. 4.5

Pretty low carbonation but silky smooth and rich-feeling. Mildly sweet and a touch of faded bitterness. Really it's just a smooth creamy drinker. 4.5

This is an outstanding barleywine. The barrels don't stifle the base beer but rather complement it well. (598 characters)

Photo of leroybrown10
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy amber-brown with some reddish tinges. Slow forming and rather small cream colored head which vanishes quickly.

Whiskey is the first thing to hit the nose. Caramel, bread pudding and maybe a hint of vanilla.

Again, whiskey and caramel on the first taste. Sweet maltiness. Vanilla, dates, toffee and brown sugar as well. Flavors blend well but maybe a touch more of some the back end flavors.

Rich sticky mouth feel. Medium carbonation. Flavors lingers, especially an extended sweetness. Some creamy qualities.

This is a very well done barrel aged barleywine. Whiskey is prevalent but
not overpowering. Sweet but not syrupy and with a smooth creamy feel on the tongue. (694 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared bottle at RBWG-2015.
Pours very clear red-brown with a frothy head.

Moderately sweet.
Excellent aroma. Plenty of toffee and burnt sugar in the nose. (159 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage

Pours a cloudy dark brown with a small tan head which fades pretty quickly. the aroma has caramel, dark fruit, oak, and whiskey.

Has a sweet flavor with caramel, toffee, dark fruit, oak, whiskey, vanilla, and coconut. There is no bitterness for balance, but it is not needed, since this beer is not overly sweet.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden for a 10.5 % abv beer. There is a caramel, toffee, and dark fruit aftertaste. Smooth and easy to drink.
I am glad I picked some of this up in Colorado last year. (562 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle from the good doctor, steasy66.

Appearance. Pours a deep amber-brown that doesn't let much light through, topped with a thin light tan head.

Smell. Plums, raisins, sweet caramel, slight cardboard and sherry oxidization notes but not in a bad way.

Taste. Brown sugar and caramel, dark fruits, toasted oak, lightly tannic barrel and leather, and a touch of whiskey.

Mouthfeel. Full body, a touch sticky on the lips, low carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff that's everything a BA barleywine should be without excessive anything. (541 characters)

Photo of GregJ
3.6/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I expect sweetness from a barleywine and sweetness from the bourbon barrel aging but this is a bit much for me. Very sweet with an almost syrupy characteristic beyond what I would ever want. Very sad about this as I really like their vanilla porter. Pours a hazy red-orange. Smells of bourbon, sweet malts and booze. Dominant sweet bourbon flavor, caramel, sweet malts. Sweet heavy body with med/light carbonation. Not as obnoxiously sweet as it warmed but still too much for me. (486 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle, 2013 vintage printed on the bottle, poured into a Dry Dock tulip glass. Reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a burgundy brown color, very opaque with a fizzy, khaki head that vanishes quickly yielding no film nor lace. The aroma huge on toffee while bourbon oak, stone fruits, vanilla, brown sugar and caramel follow up behind it, very rich and sweet. The flavors pack that same punch, though more rewarding, still plenty of toffee, sweet and rich grain, oak, brown sugar, caramel, bourbon integrates itself nicely while vanilla, stone fruits and molasses linger at the finish, wonderfully complex, each sip brings something to the table. The mouthfeel is a bit thin and lackluster, struggles to coat the mouth however, this does make this beer very easy to drink, void of the usual "heaviness" to a big barrel aged beer. The finish is smooth and leaves a lightly warming sensation behind.

Verdict: A very delicious bourbon barrel aged barleywine from Dry Dock, definitely up there in the pantheon for this style, and definitely an "underrated" beer, although the ratings seem to indicate it's quality, so perhaps it's a "under-known" beer that isn't as heralded as the rest. Perfect for a fall or winter evening to sip on, delicious. (1,259 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a medium copper brown color, with a thin film of khaki head, receding quickly to a ring of large bubbles. Dark but very good clarity.

S: Aroma is very close to a traditional English barleywine, with austere toffee and a touch of dark fruit (raisin), but then some toasted oak, bourbon, and cinnamon comes through as well. Barrel treatment is pretty light handed.

T: Toffee and dark fruit, a bit of bourbon and coconut. Moderate sugary sweetness that approaches flabbiness.

M: Light carbonation and medium-full body. Alcohol is completely hidden.

O: Pretty tasty, and surprisingly close to a good but non-BA barleywine. Sweetness is a tad high, though. (702 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -7.6%

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 bottle.

Appearance - Deep amber. Small khaki head. A few bubbles in the collar.

Smell - Bourbon. Fruity aroma. A bit of apple. Brown sugar and caramel.

Taste - Just like the aroma. Bourbon. Apple fruitiness. Makes it seem kinda Belgian. Brown sugar sweetness, but dries out just a bit in the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Very enjoyable. Very different from its other bourbon barrel barleywine brethren. (497 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Very sweet but great.

It reminds me of JW Lees Harvest Ale.

Not a whole lot of barrel character but I get dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, candy, and toffee. (169 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rated based on several tastings since, now that I finally have the opportunity to sit down and write a review, the last bottle is a bit over the hill at 2 years.

A: Pours a cloudy auburn with a brief white head. Not particularly attractive, but typical of an aged barleywine.
S: Caramel, brown sugar, almost a maple syrup-like quality and a light alcohol bite. Faint whiskey once it warms. Smells sweet and inviting.
T: As expected, very sweet – brown sugar dominated with cola and raisin. Whiskey has faded considerably at this point, but there is still plenty of vanilla in the mix. Unlike many American brewed barleywines advertised as “English Barleywine”, I feel this was an accurate representation as the hopping was fairly restrained, even when fresh. Alcohol is barely discernible.
M: Body is medium with light soft carbonation (even when fresh).
This was a very nice beer last fall, but has fallen off noticeably since then. Not really oxidized, but time has lessened some of the complexities, especially the barrel and hops. Still good, but like many barrel aged beers, better within a year of bottling.

Love the name/art work on this beer. No doubt Captain Bligh would’ve avoided mutiny had his ship been well stocked with this fine ale. Will be looking for more. (1,285 characters)

Photo of macher0
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark mahogany. Slight head quickly retreats to a course bubble rim. Strong nose of sweet malts, oak, and dried fruits. The bourbon is much more pronounced in the taste. Moderate sweetness is appropriate and balanced by figs and prunes. The beer has a moderate viscosity in terms of the feel. Low to medium carbonation. Very smooth.

This is a fine barley wine that certainly benefits from the barrel. Recommended for a BA ale. (433 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Brian for giving me this bottle. 22oz bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter 4/26/2014.

A- Caramel brown, thick and viscous. Small light off-white head with retention that is average for the style- which is to say it is a bit low. No lacing.

S- Holy caramel batman. This is the most caramel-forward barleywine I've had the chance to try. Sweet caramel, toffee, with a slight earthiness and dark fruit contribution. Slight hints of oak and whiskey, but not very much.

F- Tastes just like liquid caramel. This is not superbly complex, but this is a barleywine that packs a lot of caramel and toffee sweetness, with a small dark fruit component and some whiskey that adds a bit of complexity. Very nice, though I would have liked a little more of the whiskey barrels to show up.

M- Medium bodied, viscous with low carbonation. Very sweet, easy to drink despite its higher ABV. Smooth and resinous but without being cloying.

O- Really good English barleywine. I enjoyed drinking this one a lot and so did everyone else. However, for an barrel-aged English barleywine, this beer lacks a lot of the distinct whiskey character that makes a BA English barleywine what it is. (1,182 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.79/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap; poured into a snifter.
Appearance - a caramel brown, little to no head and that leads to no lacing.
Smell - some sweetness, spice, a tangy alcohol.
Taste - sweet bourbon, some cognac, a hint of brown sugar, cinnamon and spice.
Feel - this is a sweet, smooth barley wine. The ABV is present, but very welcomed!
Overall - an excellent brew, but certainly overrated, especially considering the price point. (411 characters)

Photo of Jjski
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage obtained in trade. Previous cellar conditions reported to be @ 50f year round
A - brown dark dark amber

S-honey, calvados, apples, brandy leather

T-brown sugar, vanilla, apple brandy

M- a little too thin, most likely age related. Absent carbonation. Drinks like a brandy

0- very very good. Probably shouldn't age longer than a year. It's not showing any oxidation, just thinnish and lacking carbonation. Flavor is beautiful , ala JW Lees (456 characters)

Photo of zhanson88
3.56/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bligh's pours out a moderately viscous murky auburn color. Not much in the way of carbonation it appears, as very little head forms on the pour, which is remedied by vigorous swirling of the glass. So there is a bit of carbonation, if not much.

Smell: Toasted caramel, coconut, dark fruits, vanilla, and a hint of whiskey. Seems to be nicely integrated, and certainly complex. While it's complex, it does seem to be lacking a certain richness that the best English Barleywines I've sampled have had. But still, good.

Taste: Toffee, toasted coconut, hints of whiskey soaked raisin, and vanilla. Again, nicely complex, but really lacking a certain something to push it over the top. Flavors are a bit muted for me.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium mouthfeel, which seems about right, but almost devoid of carbonation. Certainly a miss there. Overall, some very nice flavors and a good base beer, but for me the lack of carbonation really retracts from most of the other aspects. Add a bit of carbonation and I like it a lot more. (1,035 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to drumrboy22 for the bottle. Tasted 7 September 2013.

Pours a medium dark amber brown. Clear, with a half-finger of yellow-tan head.

Smell is rich warm bourbon, backed well and heavily by powerful caramel malts. Lots of sweetness, loads of brown sugar and caramel. A little bit of tobacco leaf, providing a bitter bite.

Taste is really smooth. Incredible integration between the barrel and the base. Has a mash graininess throughout - moderately sweet but a little bit corny. Mellow bourbon, toffee, and roasted apples. Not much herbal, and not much fruit aside from those appley flavors. But so smooth, so mellow, and so dang tasty.

Feel is medium-bodied, not as heavy as I thought it'd be. Medium-low carbonation. Good; works with the beer.

A really good barrel-aged English barleywine. On the level of Sucaba. Has warmth, depth, and deliciousness. Rich, sweet, and incredibly smooth. Yum. (904 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: tawny brown with red hints and a meager tanned head.

Aroma: caramel, butterscotch, toffee, roast, vanilla, oaky bourbon finish.

Taste: caramel, toffee, raisins, roasted malts, butterscotch, mild bourbon finish.

Mouthfeel: full bodied and creamy, quite low carbonation.

Overall: no booze detected, drinkability is great. A super smooth barley wine that isn't too sweet or heavy on the barrel. (407 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.69/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Blakelive784 for sending this much-anticipated bottle along a bit ago. I've only sampled this next to a bevy of the world's best barleywines, so I was eager to take a swing at it solo. 22 oz. bottle with a minimalist, retro label & gold foil split with my wife.

Pour is a dull, lifeless brown, like a clay tennis court after a five-hour match split in half by a thunderstorm. The smell brings me close to nirvana: some of the biggest caramel noodles I've experienced, dipped in vanilla & painted with seventeen layers of bourbon. A dose of brown sugar completes the aromatic masterpiece.

Bligh's Barleywine is liquified caramel with a base of bourbon. Almost literally. Caramel melts the top layer off my palate's face, backed up by lick after lick of bourbon. Booze, sweetness, brown sugar course through mid-palate; then the alcohol really kicks in & alcoholic caramel squares dominate the end. Lack of carbonation weights this one down & hurts the drinkability. A bit of spritz would have been nice.

Now I understand why this beer underwhelmed against the likes of Mother of All Storms, King Henry, & other heavyweights: a pretty good barrel-aged barleywine, but just not in the same weight class. (1,216 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky brown/amber in color with a razor thin off-white head that diminished fairly quickly. Big toffee, caramel, light coconut, a hint of vanilla, somewhat nutty, figs, raisins, spicy oak, and almonds in the aroma. Taste is big figs, dark fruits, with a touch of spice, hints of cinnamon, and coconut through the middle, with lighter notes of sweet caramel and brown sugar, ending with a light alcoholic bite on the backend. Slick mouthfeel with almost no carbonation throughout. Overall, a very solid barleywine that was not overpowered by the barrel treatment, This was too tough for me to come by to seek this out again. (629 characters)

Photo of cbeer88
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz 2012 vintage poured in Duvel tulip. Tasted blindly courtesy of Blind BIF #8.

Appearance: Dark and cloudy brown with a hint of red. No head to speak of, just a few wispy bubbles prove there is some carbonation in this beer. No lacing.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, caramel… some prune-y/fig-y/raisin-y fruit.

Taste: Right off the bat I can tell this beer has some age on it. The flavors are very well melded together. Not a lick of alcohol burn to speak of, aside from the bourbon flavor. Very malt forward, with undertones of the barrel. (bourbon, vanilla, oak, etc) Overall fruity, very much like a belgian strong dark, but I don't taste belgian yeast. No noticeable hops anywhere to be found.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, maybe even thin for the style? Extremely low carb level - a notch above flat.

Drinkability: Drinking nicely. The alcohol is completely hidden, and there are some good flavors going on. You have to be able to enjoy a sweet low carbonated beer though. You can do a whole bottle, but it's a long sipper.

Overall: I like this beer quite a bit. I don't know what it is, so I can't say if I've had it before, but age has clearly treated it kindly. It's not terribly complex, but what is there is quality. (1,223 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.79/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Let’s say you’re at a rockin’ party, circa 1985. It’s way New Wave. The host is dressed shamefully, like Eddie Murphy in Raw. The chicks (it’s still okay to call them “chicks” back now) all look awful, their faces mannequins smeared with crushed berries, their hair a sad mess of feathers and straw. Herbie Hancock’s “Rocket” is playing and some dude is like, hey man, you wanna blast off? You’re worried he’s talking about s’ing your D but you still say “yeah sure” because you don’t want people to think you’re grody to the max and so the dude pulls out some coke and extols you to take a snort. You do. It burns. Your vision gets tinted red and a bunch of Italian guys start cheering and saying stuff in their ungodly language, something about “borax” and “crushed Smarties.” Still, you pretend to like it, because you want to sound rad.

That’s what it was like when I tried J.W. Lees Harvest Ale. My whole review, I was like “oh golly this is probably way good but I’m just too stupid to know any better.” Later on, I noticed something strange: John’s Grocery has a whole vertical of Lees going back to the mid 90s. Not because it’s expensive. Because it’s bad and no one likes it.

So I say sure, go ahead, pour that shit in oak. People complain about how horrible the BBA Lees’ ales are, but I don’t see how they could be any worse.

I bring this up because Dry Dock’s Barleywine is, like Lee’s, an English barley wine. And I’m sorry, but this style is shit unless it’s properly Americanized. The genuine British stuff tastes like some kind of weird peat and raisin tea. You got to load some hops into that, or pour in some vanilla, or just fucking stick it in a barrel for a year and hope it comes out palatable.

This—this is palatable. I think it’s a good example of its style, then, in that it’s traditionally British (all filled with figs and rotting teeth) but I’ll be able to finish the bottle. It’s still not quite good, though.

(Full review with pics: http://mynie.com/?p=641) (2,071 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark hazy brown with a syrupy complexion. Light carbonation and just a few bubbles.

S - Malty, lots of barrel and oak, dark fruit, and light chocolate

T - Sweet brown sugar, dark fruit, lots of chocolate. Good beer with lots of sweet flavor. Light oak on it in the finish

M - Smooth, body with a light syrupiness and stickiness to it

O - Really good and sweet barleywine with nice chocolate flavor to it as well. Not as good as KH but pretty close (455 characters)

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Bligh's Barleywine Ale from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.